Provided by: nmh_1.7.1-4_amd64 bug


       sortm - sort nmh messages


       sortm [-help] [-version] [+folder] [msgs] [-all | -noall] [-datefield field] [-textfield
            field] [-notextfield] [-limit days] [-nolimit] [-check | -nocheck] [-verbose |


       sortm  sorts  the  specified  messages  in the named folder according to the chronological
       order of the “Date:” field of each message.

       If no messages are specified, the default is all messages in the folder.  However,  if  no
       messages  are  specified  and  the -noall switch is enabled, then sortm reports that as an
       error and exits with non-zero status.  -noall is most useful in  the  user's  profile,  to
       avoid  inadvertent  sorting  of an entire folder.  The -all switch can then be used on the
       command line to disable it.  Of course, a message specification of all can be used in  any

       The  -verbose  switch directs sortm to tell the user the general actions that it is taking
       to place the folder in sorted order.

       The -datefield field switch tells sortm the name of the field to use when making the  date
       comparison.   If  the  user  has  a special field in each message, such as “BB-Posted:” or
       “Delivery-Date:”, then the -datefield switch can be used to direct sortm  which  field  to

       The  -textfield  field  switch  causes sortm to sort messages by the specified text field.
       All characters except letters and numbers are  stripped  and  the  resulting  strings  are
       sorted  datefield-major,  textfield-minor,  using  a case insensitive comparison.  If this
       field is “subject”, any leading "re:" is stripped off.

       With -textfield field, if -limit days is specified, messages with the same textfields that
       are  dated  within  `days'  of  each other appear together.  Specifying -nolimit makes the
       limit infinity.  With -limit 0, the sort is instead simply textfield-major.

       For example, to order a folder by date-major, grouping messages with the same  subject  on
       the same date together, use:

            sortm -textfield subject +folder

       sortm  always  issues  a  warning  for each message that is missing a “Date:” field, has a
       “Date:” field that cannot be parsed, or has a format error in any header field.  With  the
       -check  switch,  sortm  inhibits  all  modifications  to  the folder if there are any such
       messages, and exits with non-zero status.  With  the  default  of  -nocheck,  sortm  sorts
       messages with a missing or invalid “Date:” field using their file modification times.

       When  ordering  messages based on their dates, if they have the same dates, their original
       message order is preserved.


       $HOME/.mh_profile          The user profile


       Path:                To determine the user's nmh directory
       Current-Folder:      To find the default current folder




       `+folder' defaults to the current folder
       `-datefield' defaults to date


       If a folder is given, it will become the current folder.  If the current message is moved,
       sortm will preserve its status as current.


       Timezones used to be ignored when comparing dates: they aren't any more.

       Messages  which  were  in the folder, but not specified by `msgs', used to be moved to the
       end of the folder; now such messages are left untouched.

       sortm sometimes did not preserve the message numbering in a folder (e.g., messages  1,  3,
       and 5, might have been renumbered to 1, 2, 3 after sorting).  This was a bug, and has been
       fixed.  To compress the message numbering in a folder, use “folder -pack” as always.


       When sortm complains about a message which it can't temporally order, it  complains  about
       the  message  number prior to sorting.  It should indicate what the message number will be
       after sorting.